STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 15: Coach Dan Mullens of the Mississippi State Bulldogs watches from the sidelins as they play LSU in the second quarter on September 15, 2011 at Davis Wade stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
In Dan Mullen's three years at Mississippi State he is only 10-10 at home. That's strange considering all the sellouts and the emphasis he has put on home field advantage. In SEC games, State is only 4-8 in those three years...ouch.
But here's the thing - 7 of those 8 loses came to Top 15 teams: #7 LSU, #2 Florida, #3 Alabama, #13 Arkansas, #3 LSU, #15 South Carolina and #4 Alabama. The other loss was to #21 Auburn - and they won the national championship that year!
MSU's four home wins were against #20 Ole Miss, Georgia, Kentucky and Ole Miss again.
You know your conference is tough when 75% of your home games over a three-year span are against top 25 teams, 58% against top 15, 42% against top 10, and 33% against top 5.
This fall State will host Auburn, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Arkansas. The only poll out right now is the coaches - Auburn is #25 and Arkansas is #10. Tennessee and A&M were among others receiving votes as was Mississippi State.
I really don't think any of State's SEC home games will be against top 15 teams. The strongest candidate will be Arkansas but they've got some tough games prior to MSU they'll have to survive. The Bulldogs are 4-1 under Mullen when playing teams outside the top 15 at home - so I think this stat bodes well for 2012. 4-0 would be amazing, and I bet most State fans would gladly accept 3-1 at home this year.